Bly.com Newsletter Archives An archived collection of Bob Bly’s Direct Marketing Newsletter

3/16/2004

THE 5 COMMANDMENTS OF WRITING FOR YOUR READER

Filed under: Newsletter Archive — site admin @ 5:35 pm

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Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter:
Resources, ideas, and tips for improving
response to business-to-business, high-tech,
industrial, Internet, and direct marketing.

March, 2004
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DO YOU WANT TO PUBLISH AN E-ZINE LIKE THIS ONE?

Free e-zines make money. At least, this one does:
The Direct Response Letter goes to 40,000 subscribers
who buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of my
copywriting and consulting services, books, tapes,
and seminars a year.

In our new tele-seminar, “How to Create a
Successful E-Zine That Brings You More New Business
Than You Can Handle ? in One Hour a Month,”
we share our secrets for generating boatloads
of leads, orders, sales, and new business through
distribution of a free e-zine.

One secret I’ll share with you now: The return
on investment for publishing The Direct Response
Letter is the highest of any promotion I have ever done.
It takes me a total of one hour a month
to write and “design” (i.e., set up the text file)…
and the leads it generates keep me busy
all year long. Teleconference is from 1pm to 2pm
EST Thursday, March 11, 2004. For more information
and to register, click here:

http://www.wordbizstore.com/bob_bly.html

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IS YOUR MAILING GOING TO BE A WINNER — OR A DUD?

How can you predict whether your mailing will be
profitable before all the results are in?

On a third-class mailing, use this rule of thumb:
You will have 50% of your total responses
somewhere between 18 and 22 mailing days
after you get your first responses.

Therefore, if you have a 1% response 22 days
after receiving your first reply card, your
total will be around 2%.

Day 22 is known as “doubling day” because you
can estimate the total response by doubling
the response you’ve received as of that day.

Source: The Newsletter on Newsletters, 1/31/04,
“What to Test,” Fred Goss

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CURLING UP WITH A GOOD BOOK BEATS CURLING UP WITH THE WEB

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40% of adults
said they read books for leisure during 2002 vs.
only 27% who surfed the Internet for fun.

Bookstore sales in 2003 topped $16 billion,
an increase of 2.4% from the previous year.

Source: The Record, 2/13/04;
Publishers Weekly, 2/16/04, p. 5

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THE 5 COMMANDMENTS OF WRITING FOR YOUR READER

1. Educate and enlighten your reader by
providing information in layman’s terms.
Think of yourself as a translator for someone
who may not be familiar with technical language.

2. Adopt newspaper format in writing your text.
Speak to your reader in short, easy-to-read
sentences and paragraphs.

3. Guide your reader through the article by using
bullet points, subheads, underlining and italicization.

4. Stay focused. Don’t lead your reader through
a maze of information that does not provide much
of a background and does not support your point.

5. Make sure that you understand the information
completely before translating it to your reader.

Source: Marcy Kowalchuk, Mealey Publications
(NEPA conference, 6/02)

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IS SELLING SLEAZY?

If you think marketing and selling are somehow
wrong, your attitude probably comes through
in your copy and sales presentations.

Says adman Paul Arden:

“When I mention that I am in advertising, people’s
instinctive reaction is that you are trying to sell
people things they don’t want. They regard advertising
as being a bit distasteful.

“I am no more or less distasteful than you. Yes,
of course, I am selling. But so are all of you.

“You are hustling and selling or trying to make
people buy something. Your services or your
point of view.

“You clean your car to sell it, showing it to its
best advantage. People even put bread in the oven
to make their houses smell nice when
they are trying to sell them.

“The way you dress when going for an interview or
a party, or merely putting lipstick on.
Aren’t you selling yourself?

“Your priest is selling. He is selling what
he believes in. God.

“The point is we are all selling. We are all
in advertising. It is part of life.”

Source: “It’s Not How Good You Are,
It’s How Good You Want to Be,”
Paul Arden (Phaidon)

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ANNUAL ASJA WRITER’S CONFERENCE WELL WORTH ATTENDING

The American Society of Journalists and Authors
(ASJA) annual conference, titled “Kicking It Up
a Notch: Success Strategies for Freelancers,”
takes place April 24 ? 25, 2004 at Manhattan’s
Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The conference features more than 30 sessions
over two days, highlighting topics and market
opportunities of importance to experienced
and beginning freelance writers. Representatives
from Simon and Schuster, Random House, Paramount
Pictures, Newsweek, Playboy, Entrepreneur,
Woman’s Day, Parenting and many others will
share their insider tips for selling
to these top-tier markets.

I’ve attended in previous years, and it’s always
worthwhile. To take advantage of the early bird
registration discount and for more information
on program specifics, rates, and times,
visit http://www.asja.org.

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BOOK OF THE MONTH

My erstwhile colleague John Coe has written
a new book, “The Fundamentals of Business-to-Business
Sales and Marketing,” published by McGraw-Hill.

It is not a “high concept” or “big idea” book;
therefore, fans of The ClueTrain Manifesto and other
such highfalutin nonsense may find John’s
book way too practical ? filled with stuff
you can actually do today to increase
your sales tomorrow.

But if you like, as I do, business books that
are heavy on the nuts-and-bolts, telling you what
to do to increase sales results ? and how to
do it cost-effectively ? than buy John’s
book today by clicking on the link below:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0071408797/qid=1072721726/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-8749830-7595058?v=glance&s=books

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SELF-PUBLISHING TIP OF THE MONTH

You can now download a FREE eBook with FREE
distribution rights entitled: “How to Distribute
your Self-Published book” by clicking here now:

http://www.bookcoaching.com/reports/DistributeYourSelf-PublishedBook.shtml

You can also download a FREE eBook with FREE
distribution rights entitled: How to Write
a Top-Selling Book.” Click on the link below:

http://www.bookcoaching.com/reports/WriteATopSellingBook.shtml

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QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“For 40 years, I looked at life like the poor
little boy who presses his nose against the
window of a pastry shop and watches others
eat the pastries. Now I know that the pastries
belong to those who bother to take them.”

–Georges Simenon, author of 500 books

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60-SECOND COMMERCIAL FROM FERN DICKEY, OFFICE MANAGER:

Bob is available on a limited basis for copywriting
of direct mail packages, sales letters, brochures,
white papers, ads, e-mail marketing campaigns,
PR materials, and Web pages. We recommend
you call for a FREE copy of our updated Copywriting
Information Kit. Just let us know your industry
and the type of copy you’re interested
in seeing (ads, mailings, etc.), and if Bob
is available to take your assignment, we’ll
tailor a package of recent samples to fit
your requirements. Call Fern Dickey at
201-797-8105 or e-mail fern1128@optonline.net.

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Bob Bly
22 E. Quackenbush Ave.
Copywriter/Consultant
Dumont, NJ 07628
rwbly@bly.com
www.bly.com
phone 201-385-1220
fax 201-385-1138

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